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Game for a place at Brum studios; ENTERTAINMENT: Microsoft subsidiary in talks with new city development.

Byline: Anna Blackaby

RARE Games, a Microsoft subsidiary which has produced titles such as Viva Pinata and Perfect Dark Zero, is in the final stages of negotiations to take the last remaining units at Digbeth's Fazeley Studios.

The games developer has been linked to Microsoft's revolutionary technology Project Natal, expected to be released late next year and which relies on a motion sensor to enable players to control the game through their body movements, instead of through a hand-held device.

The technology allows gamers to simulate actions such as driving a car or kicking a ball in order to control a game and has been billed as the successor to the Nintendo's hugely popular Wii.

An insider said: "We've been working on this for seven or eight months.

It's a very big deal and one of many more developments to come."

Given that it has been open for less than a year, Fazeley Studios - which is the sister development of creative industries hub The Custard Factory - looks set to pull off a huge coup by securing Rare Games as its final tenant.

The company, which has headquarters at Twycross, will rub shoulders with home-grown digital firms such as design firm Substrakt, video and production company Fullrange, and the Ikon Gallery's outpost in Digbeth, Ikon Eastside.

Rare Games' origins go back to the 1980s when brothers Tim and Chris Stamper started creating games for early hardware like the Spectrum.

Fazeley Studios and Advantage West Midlands both declined to comment on the story. Microsoft did not respond to an invitation to comment.


Games centre: Fazeley Studios is becoming a mecca for digital industries, with a subsidiary of the Bill Gates', inset, Microsoft close to moving in.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 27, 2009
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